SCDOT Video Details Role of Technology in Transportation

The latest “Day in the Life” video produced by the South Carolina Department of Transportation follows Michael Goodwin (above), District One electronics technician supervisor, and his role in maintaining the technology critical to the functionality of the state’s transportation network.

[Above photo by SCDOT]

Raised on a farm, Goodwin began working as an electrician after he graduated high school. Shortly thereafter, he saw a job opening at the SCDOT for an electrician – the start of what became a 20 year career at the agency.

Today, as an electronics technician supervisor, Goodwin and his team are responsible for the upkeep of traffic signals in District One.

“In District One, we have five counties: Richland, Lexington, Sumter, Kershaw, and Lee. And we have approximately 540 traffic signals that we currently maintain, even as we add new [signals] at intersections every week just about,” he said. “Around the state, there’s close to 4,000 traffic signals we maintain in South Carolina. That doesn’t include the ones that the cities and towns maintain on their own.”

Goodwin said his team’s daily tasks include inspecting every traffic signal cabinet and components, at every intersection, at least once a year.

“We clean the cabinets, we change the air filters, we check all the loop detectors, and we make sure everything’s functioning in there. That also includes a walk around physical inspection,” he said. “Over the last four years, we migrated every [traffic signal] from lightbulbs to LED [light emitting diodes]. Everything we get from now on has LEDs in it.”

All in all, Goodwin said his job with SCDOT is “by far” the most enjoyable one he’s had.

“It’s very challenging – there are days that you’re stretching your imagination as far as it can go” to solve problems, he said. “There are days that are going to be kind of mundane. But the challenges far outweigh the mundane days.”

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